With the Warriors working actively to find a trade they like before the deadline, Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News decided to explore what sort of package Golden State could be seeking for Monta Ellis, one of the team's prime trade chips.
According to Kawakami, the Timberwolves and Warriors discussed a trade last June, with the Timberwolves offering Michael Beasley and Nikola Pekovic for Ellis, while the Warriors wanted to expand the deal to land Minnesota's top draft pick as well. As Kawakami points out, Minnesota wouldn't make such an offer now, with Pekovic having taken a huge step forward this season (17.2 PPG, 10.4 RPG in February), but at the time, each side thought the other was asking for too much.
Ellis' 2011/12 numbers have been as good as ever – his 19.4 PER would be a career high – so there's no reason to think the Warriors have dropped their asking price since June. Golden State is thought to be seeking a young star in return for Ellis, and Kawakami hears the team doesn't want to trade the 26-year-old for just cap relief.
But is there a team out there who would part with a young star for Ellis? As talented as he is, the former second-round pick is an undersized two guard who isn't particularly strong on defense, and is owed $11MM per season through 2013/14. I can't think of many teams who would be willing and able to meet the Warriors' asking price, and I can't see the Warriors lowering their demands much, given Ellis' scoring prowess. Unless something changes over the next few weeks, I think we should expect Ellis to remain in Golden State past March 15th.